Legal and political scholarly consensus

In addition to economists, the legal scholars and political scientists who study immigration are also generally more supportive of expanded immigration than the general public. This is true despite considerable disagreement at the margin about specific issues surrounding immigration and about the policies to deal with immigration issues. For instance, Peter Schuck writes:

Immigration law and policy exhibit a deep structure that shapes them at every turn and that catches my attention every time I teach about immigration or discuss it with my friends and with other scholars in the field. The structure is this: the political economy of immigration is far more one-sided and expansionist than the public attitudes toward immigration, and this is even more true of immigration law scholarship. That is, almost all of the significant political interest groups in the United States with an interest in immigration policy, and almost all immigration law scholars, advocate very strongly in the direction of maintaining an expansive immigration policy – and the policy outcomes testify to their success. Finally, and perhaps needless to say, the principal lawyers’ organizations in this field – the American Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association – also favor expansion. In contrast, the general public evidently favors – and has always favored, as far as one can tell from opinion surveys’ – either more restrictive immigration policies or at least no further expansion of immigration.

Carol M. Swain. Ed. Debating Immigration (p. 17). Kindle Edition.

The American Bar Association has taken a number of public positions on immigration law, including opposing consular nonreviewability:

[Resolved that the ABA] Supports the restoration of federal judicial review of immigration decisions and urges Congress to enact legislation to ensure that noncitizens are treated fairly in the adjudication process and also to provide oversight for the government’s decision making process.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association, a professional association comprising over 11,000 practicing immigration lawyers in the US holds the position that:

Any plan to restore the integrity of our system must: 1) require the undocumented population to come out of the shadows and earn legal status; 2) provide fair and lawful ways for American businesses to hire much-needed immigrant workers who help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment based immigration by reforming the permanent immigration system; and 4) protect our national security and the rule of law while preserving and restoring fundamental principles of due process and equal protection.

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